Romney forced to backpedal after thorny Virginia endorsement
August 11th, 2012
03:52 PM ET
2 years ago

Romney forced to backpedal after thorny Virginia endorsement

Richmond, Virginia (CNN) - Mitt Romney's campaign awkwardly backpedaled Saturday after the presumptive Republican presidential nominee waded into a contentious GOP primary fight in Virginia during his second campaign event alongside his new running mate Paul Ryan.

Speaking at a rally in Ashland, a picturesque town just north of Richmond, Romney described Virginia Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling, who was in attendance, as "a great friend, and I hope the next governor of Virginia."

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The remarks caught the attention of Virginia politicos who know that Bolling is running for the 2013 gubernatorial nomination against state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a darling of conservative activists who is trouncing Bolling in early polling.

The apparent endorsement was not out of left field. Bolling has played a formal role in both of Romney's presidential campaigns, and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has also endorsed him.

But to take sides in a high-profile Republican primary battle when the day's mission was to roll out the Ryan pick and unite the conservative base struck many observers as odd.

Romney and his aides tried to walk back the comments after the event.

Speaking to an overflow crowd after the Ashland rally, Romney talked about the need to elect a Republican governor in 2013 and said: "There are a couple of guys in the race, I love them both. I want to see one of those guys take his place."

Separately, a Romney adviser told CNN that while Romney "wants to see a Republican as governor of Virginia, he has not endorsed in the primary."

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Filed under: 2012
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. mario

    his foot in mouth again

    August 11, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  2. Yonni

    Another pandering on the list of Mitt pandering records without considering the full implication of his pandering.

    August 11, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  3. Namejkane fl SEND THE THREE TIME LOSER romney HOME AND MAKE IT FOUR.

    Doesn't the Gop and romney the tax cheat always go backwards ,oh,I forgot ,Ryan the hot dog car driver who wants to loot the soc sec and Medicare funds so their wall street cronies who gave him millions of dallars can get their hands on a trillions dallar trust fund . Do you trust these crooks with your soc sec. Fund . No ,no no , no no no .!!!!WWE .

    August 11, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  4. Deb in MT

    "But to take sides in a high-profile Republican primary battle when the day's mission was to roll out the Ryan pick and unite the conservative base struck many observers as odd."
    ==================================
    Way to step on your daily message, Mitt. You'd think that a guy who has been running for President for eight years would have learned a little more self discipline by now, but Mittens just keeps blundering & gaffing over & over again.

    Perhaps Mittens' latest little booboo was a passive rebellion against having the Koch bros and Mr. Kristol pick his running mate for him?

    At any rate, here we go again with the back pedalling, just like every other day.

    August 11, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  5. Namejkane fl SEND THE THREE TIME LOSER romney HOME AND MAKE IT FOUR.

    That's because romney the tax cheat ,is odd???????? !!!!!!????????

    August 11, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  6. NEVER to VOTE REPUBLICAN again

    Greed and Hate = The New Republican party

    August 11, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  7. Namejkane fl SEND THE THREE TIME LOSER romney HOME AND MAKE IT FOUR.

    Nice that everybody has to clean up after a romney the tax cheat GAFF .Gop train wreck in Nov ,can't wait !!!!where's your tax returns and where's the hot dog bus?????

    August 11, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  8. Veteran2005

    This guy Romney can't stick to ons side of an issue to save his Life...I've never seen a candidate who doesn't know what he believes...Go Etch-A-Sketch

    August 11, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  9. B

    If Mitt Romney keeps shooting himself in the foot, he won't have any toes left.

    August 11, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  10. NikoEsquire

    Open mouth, insert foot. He seems to be getting pretty good at that these days.

    August 11, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  11. IrvineCAVoter

    Of all people Ronmey picks Ryan. Obama you will win this race for sure.
    Obama2012

    August 11, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  12. FalseProphet

    Flip....flop.... Mr. Weather-vane strikes again...

    August 11, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  13. josey

    Another Rmoney major FAIL.

    August 11, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  14. Namejkane fl SEND THE THREE TIME LOSER romney HOME AND MAKE IT FOUR.

    Once a flip floper always a flip floper ,where's your tax returns son of boss tax cheat ????????????

    August 11, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  15. Clint

    Romney spends most of his time backpedaling. He's an idiot and not ready to be President EVER.

    August 11, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  16. LNB

    couple of cads...BHO 2012 Elizabeth Warren 2016 2024

    August 11, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  17. Ins1te

    He introduced Ryan as the next president. A mistake. But saying he hopes Bolling will become governor is not. Now trying to take it back is low. That's Mitt for you. Etching away. Presidential material indeed.

    August 11, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  18. ThinkAgain

    Wow, Mittens can't do ANYTHING right ...

    August 11, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  19. Harry From Pa

    Romney is a disaster, everytime his mouth opens its a contradiction or a lie. And for Ryan to say things have to go negative on the other side of the fence, what have they been doing in the GoP for 4 years?

    August 11, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  20. Reggie19

    Nit picking again CNN. Any little thing to report something negative on Romney and Ryan. Why dont CNN come right out and openly endorse Obama because we can see your reporting is always onesided.. always positive for Obama and negative for Romney. Sad to see what CNN has done to itself as a news network.

    August 11, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  21. onlyfacts61

    Thats right Mitt remember to ALWAYS lie. What were you thinking? Did you forget this is a game? You have to always say what the extreme right wants to hear or you won't be playing by their rules. So try not to think for yourself anymore, we don't need that in a President.

    August 11, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |